Print 101- Know the Printing Lingo

Since the industrial revolution people have been using printed matter to exchange information. With advancements in print and personalization technology, there are now many specialty processes to create a desired effect on your marketing materials.

  • Four Color Process –Is a process that creates colors from combining 4 inks- cyan, magenta, yellow and black (also know as cmyk). This method is best for large quantities (over 2,000) of color printed material
  • Offset Lithography – Ideal for most one and two-color projects, this method uses plates and rubber blankets to transfer images to paper.
  • Digital Printing – A plateless, full-color style of printing that reduces set-up costs and time while producing press-quality output. Perfect for when you need a small volume of quality color prints
  • Variable Data – Is a process by which we can personalize each printed item, using a database. For example each postcard can be custom address to “John Customer”
  • Screen – Using a woven mesh screen to support an ink-blocking stencil, this style of printing is used for t-shirts, plastics and billboards.


  • Thermography – Using a powder ink treated wtih heat which causes a raised effect, this method of print is most popular with stationery and invitations.
  • Blind Emboss – Is a technique where we “stamp” a design into the printed piece, thus created a raised or embossed area. Blind emboss doe not have any ink or foil with it.
  • Foil Emboss – Same principal where we stamp a raised (or depressed) area, but the area has a metallic foil as part of the design, which distinguished it even more.
  • Embossed – Same technique, only we use an ink color with the embossed area.
  • Deboss – Same stamping technique, only instead of the design being “raised” from the card, it’s punched downward, creating a depressed area of design
  • Lenticular – Is a process of print production that creates a 3-D or motion by morphing two or more images into one piece.
  • Aquaeous – Is a type of coating where the protective seal is flooded on the print piece.
  • Varnish – Similar to aqueous, it is also a coating, but we can control what areas of the piece are covered, also know as “spot varnish”
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